13 February 2014

Metal Detecting Post #110 - Relics Of Valor & Sacrifice

I found these Civil War relics the week before this past Christmas. Nine .58 minie balls, two .69's, three .58 Confederate Gardners, one long-model "commercial" Sharps bullet, made for the .52-caliber Sharps Rifle/Carbine. (It is called a "commercial" Sharps bullet because it was put on the market for civilian use, rather than for the army.) Another unidentified CW bullet, a pistol bullet, musket ball, the tail end of an exploded Shenkl shell, two brass rivets, one brass cap-box finial, a brass piece that looks like it may be off a trigger guard and another that looks like it might be part of a spur or sword guard. I also another unidentified brass piece, iron piece, melted lead and melted brass. Not too bad for a day's fun and adventure.

All of these relics were found on a battlefield (on private property with the owner's permission) where one of my ancestors fought and was wounded. I'm working on a Youtube video of the hunt.



In the most recent issue of North South Trader's Civil War, publisher and historian Stephen W. Sylvia described what a friend of his and a lot of Civil War relic hunters (including me) experience:
He held each relic he unearthed with a reverence regardless of its scarcity or market value. To him, relics were documents of valor and sacrifice and were worthy of devoted appreciation no matter their affiliation, North or South.
He enjoyed reading extensively about a campaign and then visiting the site, gazing the vistas the soldiers saw, walking the fields and wood lots where they marched and deployed, crossing the creeks they crossed, climbed the hills they scaled, and searching for the relics that testified to their having been there.
I could not agree more.


6 comments:

RightsideVA said...

I appreciate the same feelings when I find old bottles and other artifacts when scuba diving. There is much history out there and to find\hold something from 150 years ago. Very interesting to do the research on the item and it's history and determine it's value. Never sell my finds for they are more valuable in my collection.... Look forward to the video....

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Hello RSV -

"Very interesting to do the research on the item and it's history and determine it's value."

Yes, I enjoy the research as much as I do actually recovering the item. My office is beginning to look like a scene from an Indiana Jones movie!

"Never sell my finds."

Me either. I'll pass them on to my children and local museums eventually.

Arlee Bird said...

Quite a haul you found. I've not done too much of this sort of thing and never really found anything, but I enjoy experiencing the places where history has occurred. I wonder if there will ever come a day when all the artifacts have been recovered and there is nothing more left to find.

Lee
Wrote By Rote
An A to Z Co-host blog

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

"I wonder if there will ever come a day when all the artifacts have been recovered and there is nothing more left to find."

Not in our lifetimes, Arlee, not in our lifetimes.

RightsideVA said...

Richard,
If you ever get the chance to see the movie "Sahara" by Matthew McConaughey it is fictional of a small group looking for a lost civil war Iron Clad in the Sahara desert. Best part is the intro and if you have seen it that is the house and collection of artifacts I hope some day to have !!!

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

RSV - yes, I have seen it! And that is a worthy goal indeed!